Category Archives: health

Standardized testing in schools: How about health and exercise?

“Over all, the accelerometer data showed that the children were sedentary during about 70 percent of their day… . On average, only about 48 minutes in a child’s day — about 12 percent of the time he or she spent in child care — were set aside for active play time… Compared to the recommended 120 minutes per day of physically active time for children at this age, the average of 48 minutes per day during which children had even the opportunity for active play is “considerably suboptimal,” the researchers wrote.”
http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/27/preschoolers-more-likely-to-sit-around-than-run-around-at-school/?_r=0

And this is for pre-schoolers. I am sure it is even worse for older kids in school. So why don’t traditional schools get a bit more nuts on testing the aerobic capacity, flexibility, strength, agility, etc. of the kids?

Even the CDC says: “Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day. Aerobic activity should make up most of your child’s 60 or more minutes of physical activity each day.”
http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/children.html

My son regularly says:
“I was outside running around ALL DAY at school today” at Sudbury Valley School http://sudval.org

And I believe it. My two boys regularly come home from school sweaty and with a fine layer of dirt covering their entire body with tales of complicated collaborative games that they’ve been playing. Right now basketball is pretty popular. Followed by nukem and 4-square. But I’ve been hearing a lot about handball, ultimate, pickle, and a three-team tag/capture-the-flag sort of game someone came up with called Frank. I haven’t really been able to sort out what that’s all about.

Sidebar: Important tips when your kids got to a Sudbury School
==============================
Fall/Spring: Stock up on sunscreen and band-aids. Your kid might be riding a bike at age 4 or 3.5. It’s worth paying for good bikes (and helmets of course). Start with 12″, then 16″ (still ok to be kick-brakes), then 20″ (this should be a 6 speed with had brakes), then 24″. Trek or specialized seem like the way to go. craigslist is great. Buy 2 if necessary to avoid having to bring the bike to and from school everyday if you don’t want the hassle. “Iron Knee” jeans from Lands End really do seem to hold up needing little knee-patching and they also sell “slim” sizes.

Cold winters: “There is no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing.” Buy extra pairs of waterproof gloves and mittens. You might need to alternate days when 1 pair is still drying out or a pair is “lost” at school. A boot-dryer is invaluable and knowing the trick of drying-out shoes with newspaper. 2 pairs of smartwool socks can help. Polyester fleece pants. The sturdiest sleds seem to be the foam ones. Most of the hard plastic ones seem to break too quickly compared to the ones I used as a kid. For younger kids: figure out what is easiest jacket for zipping-up themselves without having to ask a staff member.

Leave a comment

Filed under health, obesity, outdoors, Sudbury Schools and Sudbury Valley School

Exercise Prevents Dementia Study Shows Link Between Fitness And Cognitive Abilities

Exercise Prevents Dementia Study Shows Link Between Fitness And Cognitive Abilities
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/exercise-prevents-dementia-study_n_2622363.html

Enough said!

original study:
The Association Between Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels and Later-Life Dementia: A Cohort Study
http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1567851

Leave a comment

Filed under health

Dry Cough? Stuffed Nose? ICE CUBES TO THE RESCUE!

My son stumbled on this remedy on his own this afternoon… he was having some ice water to drink and happened to be sucking on an ice cube and his cough went from once ever minute to once every 5 minutes!!!! This is amazing! We’ll see how long it lasts!

Dry Cough:
http://www.reddit.com/r/LifeProTips/comments/162m3p/lpt_how_to_severely_reduce_coughing_with_only_an/

Stuffed Nose:
http://lifehacker.com/cure-a-stuffed-nose-with-an-ice-cube-1280843412

Leave a comment

Filed under health

“…out of 122 hospitals, [only] 19 would actually give a price quote”
http://difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com/2013/06/12/health-insurance-vs-food-insurance/

Leave a comment

Filed under health, health insurance

Red#40 should be banned

“In Europe, Allura Red AC is not recommended for consumption by children. It is banned in Denmark, Belgium, France and Switzerland, and was also banned in Sweden until the country joined the European Union in 1994. The European Union approves Allura Red AC as a food colorant, but EU countries’ local laws banning food colorants are preserved.”
FROM:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allura_Red_AC#Potential_behavioral_effects

Add to that Yellow#5 and Yellow#6.

All three of these artifical colorings have been implicated in:

McCann D, Barrett A, Cooper A, et al. (November 2007). “Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial”. Lancet 370 (9598): 1560–7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61306-3. PMID 17825405.
LINK: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17825405

Food coloring, or color additive
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_coloring#Current_seven

My take on this is that, like with lots of different things, some people are fine with it, some people are not so fine, and some are really bad and must avoid completely. For example… here’s a quote I read:

“We cannot do Red 40 at all in our house. When our four year old has even the smallest amount it leads to diarrhea, mood swings, hyper activity, stuttering, night terrors, and it is a trigger for her absence seizures. When our two year old has even the smallest amount it leads to hyper activity, and full body hives. We have had to eliminate it entirely from our home and that includes things like medicine, toothpaste, and lip gloss even. I will never forget when our two year old licked some pink girlie lip gloss and got a rash on her face that made her look like the joker.”

Leave a comment

Filed under ADHD, food, health

Dear health insurance company…

Dear health insurance company… Your recent letter indicating that rates are “only” increasing 5% in 2013 is a joke. You realize the math, right? If inflation is ~3% currently/historically, then a 5% annual increase (effectively 2% in current year dollars) means that health insurance prices will DOUBLE in ~36 years (using the “rule of 72”). 1.02^36 ~= 2

Yeah, good luck with that working out everyone!

See also:
http://www.bls.gov/data/ or google “inflation historical”
– rule of 72 — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_72

Leave a comment

Filed under health, health insurance, math

If you are pondering indoor air-quality…

If you are pondering indoor air-quality in your home… I urge you to look into the issue of flame-retardants in furniture — specifically in the foam used in mattresses and couches.

Here is an upsetting recent article on the topic PBDEs and chlorinated Tris (I knew about PBDEs, but hadn’t considered that (DUH!) the replacement would probably be just as bad or worse. And that they don’t even work!)

Some good practical advice here (if you are a millionaire)

Leave a comment

Filed under corporations, erik-green, green, health, HVAC, IAQ -- indoor air quality, passive house, science, superinsulation